THE chief executive of Selby District Council is to split his time between the authority and the county council for the next three months.

Martin Connor will spend two days a week working at North Yorkshire County Council as part of a scheme designed to see how the two authorities can develop "closer working" and team up to provide local services.

Each council will keep its own chief executive, although Mr Connor will become a designated assistant chief executive at the county council, which said there would be no extra cost involved. The project will run until March, after which a decision will be taken on whether to continue it.

"This is an opportunity for closer working between the two councils and is the next logical step to the changes we've already introduced in Selby over the last two years," said Coun Mark Crane, leader of Selby District Council.

"We retain democratic choice and accountability but it makes sense to look at how we deliver our services together while reducing the cost."

Coun John Weighell, who leads the county council, said: "Both authorities face some significant financial pressures, and by working closely with one of our district councils, we are hoping the project will prove what can be achieved with greater collaboration, improving how we deliver services to residents in the Selby area while making best use of taxpayers' money."

The project will also look at "back office and support functions" at the two councils, as well as frontline services.